The holidays are upon us which means celebrations and enjoying time with your loved ones.  And, for many, it is also a time of overindulgence—excessive eating, travel, and purchasing. According to statistics discussed below, all of the additional consumption increases your carbon footprint in ways that may dampen your Christmas cheer. KC Dumpster is here to give expert tips on holiday waste management, including what to do with Christmas decorations, present gifting and receiving, disposing of Christmas trees, and so much more. 

So, before the major holidays get started, everyone must understand how to properly manage all the goods, from gift wrapping to product packaging to holiday decorations. With these Christmas waste-reduction methods, you’ll be reducing, reusing, and recycling your way to fulfilling New Year’s resolutions—and protecting our planet.

Holiday Waste Management Tips and Methods

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, American families generate 25% more garbage, adding one million tons every week to our landfills (plus enough ribbon to wrap around the whole world). With that in mind, let’s take a look at the top waste management holidays 2021 tips. 

Managing Your Christmas Decorations

Decorations are a tradition for most American families and an important part of spreading Christmas cheer. Unfortunately, many decorations have harmful materials that are not good for the environment, especially if they are in the trash instead of your recycling container. 

Instead of throwing old decorations away, consider donating them to a local charity or, even better, repurposing your decorations year after year. Another consideration is to use natural evergreens, dried flowers, and dried berries to spruce up your home and tree, all of which you can compost after the holidays.

Throwing an Eco-Friendly Holiday Party

Get creative with eco-friendly techniques to celebrate without feeling like you’re losing out on the pleasure. After all, green is one of the two primary holiday colors. Instead of providing disposable cutlery and solo cups to your visitors, bring out the fine china and stemware you save for special occasions but always manage to find an excuse to keep locked away. If you must use plastic or metal utensils, KC Dumpster recommends making it easy for your visitors to discard them correctly. 

holiday waste management 2021

Preparing Food for Visitors

It’s easy to overcook during the holidays. While you may only expect ten guests, you may end up with a few plus-ones that you didn’t expect, or you might have guests that have a big appetite! While these are genuine concerns, your objective should be to cook enough food for everyone but not have an abundance of leftovers that you may end up throwing away. 

Before going to the grocery store to shop for your holiday lunch or dinner, make a detailed grocery list and skip the impulse to purchase additional or extra items. If you have leftovers after the meal, either freeze them or plan to use them for lunches and meals the next day. You may also consider taking them to a local food pantry for those in need. In addition, your visitors will be delighted to take home leftover food in recyclable containers.

Giving Presents

Giving presents to loved ones is part of the holiday season and oftentimes, gifts mean boxes upon boxes, wrapped in paper that you cannot recycle, and packed with styrofoam. However, less is more. Rather than numerous smaller gifts, choose one larger or more emotional present. Look for gifts made from recycled materials and wrap them in recycled gift wrap or handmade bags that you can reuse.

eco-friendly gifts

Purchasing recycled items generates demand and pushes producers to make more recycled products accessible. In addition, your one present eliminates the need for several postal service deliveries if you order online, hence carbon footprints. More ways to reduce your carbon footprint include: 

  • Consider using glass jars or tins instead of a typical box or gift bag for gifts. In addition, you can reuse the container.
  • Instead of buying a new box, decorate an old one.
  • As a wrapping material, use old fabric.
  • Look around — chances are you already have all of the wrapping supplies you require.
  • Make use of reusable shopping bags. 

Speaking of reusable shopping bags, another holiday waste management tip is to carry reusable bags with you whether you’re out and about looking for the ideal Christmas present or supermarket shopping for a large feast. If you end up using plastic bags, be sure to recycle them.

Sort Your Package

The gift-giving season necessitates the use of more packaging. 

tips for holiday waste management

Therefore, it is critical to separate packaging components before recycling them, from plastic to cardboard to strings and zip ties. For example, if a toy arrives in plastic packaging containing cardboard, separate the two components before recycling.

Use Your Imagination To Gift Wrap

Wrapping paper and tissue paper, believe it or not, cannot be recycled since they are made of low-quality paper that paper mills cannot utilize. Reduce your use of wrapping paper this holiday season by wrapping gifts with alternative creative materials such as old maps, colorful fabric, or old gift bags. Alternatively, make the present wrapping a part of the gift by using a lovely scarf or a new dish towel.

creative gift wrapping ideas

Do Not Discard Electronics

The holidays are popular for purchasing new goods, such as televisions, appliances, and new gadgets. Visit your local recycling center for guidance before you toss out your old coffee maker or gaming system to discover how to dispose of these gadgets properly. 

Holiday Waste Management – Glass

Glass bottles should be rinsed and recycled. After you pop the champagne cork or offer a toast with a glass of wine, make sure you manage the glass properly after. 

Christmas Trees Should be Disposed of Properly

When Christmas is over, it is time to take the tree down. It’s time to remove all ornaments, tinsel, and other decorations from a live tree before taking it to your local recycling center. However, if you’re getting rid of an artificial tree, it’s not recyclable, so donate it to a local thrift store. Even better, get a natural evergreen from your local gardening store and plant it once the holidays are over.

tips for discarding your Christmas tree

Instead of Material Items, Gift an Experience

There are methods to decrease trash at home and via your goodwill toward others. For example, instead of sending a holiday, birthday, or anniversary card via the mail, try sending an ecard. 

Furthermore, to save waste, offer the gift of an experience rather than a large object with extensive packing. For example, if you have a skier friend or family member, give them a gift voucher to their favorite slope. Everyone enjoys going out to eat, so give them a gift voucher to their favorite restaurant. Consider how you may make a difference in someone’s life through an experience rather than a tangible product.

Holiday Waste Management Trash Tips

On holidays, your trash service may have special requirements or may need to make alternative arrangements for pickup due to the abundance of trash. If you live in an area with a recycling program, the busy Christmas season may influence how recycling is collected. Instead of taking your recyclables and garbage to the curb, check with your trash company to ensure that pickup is not adjusted. Furthermore, if you’ve planned to have your Christmas tree removed, make sure it’s devoid of decorations and tinsel. 

“Wrapping Up” Our Tips for Holiday Waste Management

As we wrap up our tips on holiday waste management, KC Dumpster wants to encourage you to take special note of the amount of waste you accumulate during the upcoming months. The holidays are a time for family get-togethers and sharing love. By following the above tips, not only will you still spend time with loved ones but you can decrease your carbon footprint and give back to those in need. 

“When it comes to economic consequences, it’s no secret that the holiday season can be an extraordinarily costly time of year.” Consider giving your pocketbook a break by cutting back and being more cautious when it comes to buying, entertaining, and gift-giving this holiday season. As always, KC Dumpster is here to help with hauling away your trash and debris from any project, big or small. For tips on recycling, composting, and more visit our website today!